Ski Locker is under new ownership but still connects those working remotely
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Gabe Carretto is more than 1,000 miles away from his company’s headquarters in Chicago, but thanks to the Ski Locker in downtown Steamboat Springs, Monday was just another day at the office.
“We have a condo here in town,” said Carretto, who is the director at an information technology company. “It’s just a small space, and my in-laws are here, and we’ve got two kids, so there’s no way I could work from the condo. I needed a space where I could get some work done. … From my perspective, it definitely checks all the boxes for what I needed.”
Carretto’s wife got a job offer in Denver, and his company has agreed to let him work remotely. The couple is in the process of lining up a home on the Front Range, but in the meantime, they decided to take advantage of their condominium in Steamboat.
Carretto needed a space to work, and the Ski Locker offered a full conference room, phone booths where he can conduct business and a copier. He plans to use the space for about three weeks.
The business, which offers co-working space at 941 Lincoln Ave., recently changed ownership with Tim Koch taking over the business from previous owner Barclay Idsal.
“I think there are a couple of different reasons this (shared work space) is appealing,” Koch said. “For me, it was just about having social interaction. That sense of community pulls people together.”
But for others, it’s about finding a space to be productive.
“We see a lot of people who are working from home, for whatever reason, but then they’ve got young kids or other distractions that make it difficult to work,” Koch said.
To meet the needs of those working remotely, the Ski Locker offers several different memberships.
Some sign on for a full membership that gives them their own desk space, while others opt for the flexi membership that allows them to stop by and use one of several available workspaces. There is also a punch pass, where the member can come in for a limited number of times each month. And there are also daily and weekly options.
The business has been impacted by COVID-19, but Koch said there is still room for new members, and public health rules are in place to protect members including mask wearing, social distancing and sanitizing measures.
“I think there’s still a need for community, and that’s my vision for the Ski Locker going forward,” Koch said. “Being able to go to work and be a part of a community, getting to know other people that live within that community, it makes you feel more at home and less isolated.”
Randy Rudasics, manager of Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, said co-working spaces fill an important void, especially in communities like Steamboat where many people work remotely.
“It’s a social outlet as well as a place to network,” Rudasics said. “It fosters a little entrepreneurial creativity and basically, some good energy.”
“Cowork spaces are great for people that don’t want to be in their house all the time,” Rudasics added. “You can collaborate with other people, you can bounce ideas off of other people. You can have better focus than you might at home with the dog or some other issues that might get in the way.”
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